Almost four years ago, I joined the Fediverse through Mastodon. I’d been researching, writing, and speaking on decentralised technologies for social good and had experimented with a whole range of things.
Since then, I’ve switched Mastodon instance a few times and, at the time of writing, you can find me on Fosstodon, a place dedicated to free and open source software. I was so enamoured by the potential of decentralisation that I led the MoodleNet project for a couple of years, taking it from zero to one.
Until earlier this year, I was an active user of Twitter, and had been for 13 years. While I still auto-post my published articles there, I only login a couple of times per month to check everything is working and look at my notifications. People still occasionally tag me in threads.
One thread I saw when logging in this week was about the ‘viability’ of, well, everything except mainstream social networks. Other platforms, according to the people posting in the thread, just don’t have the “traction”.
All I can say to this is that there are those that expect a thing to exist fully-formed before engaging with it, and there are those people who expect to help bring anything they engage with into being.
Either position is fine, but know where you stand. If you’re a builder of new software, networks, or communities, then get on and build. If you’re a user of those software, tools, and communities to further your professional career, then do that. But perhaps don’t wring your hands about ‘viability’ if you haven’t got your skin in the game of building something new.